Vol. 10 Issue 3
Expecting — Calm and Confident
Funny observation about one “expecting” is that it can be done having complete calm with total confidence that what is awaited will be received. What is of great interest is that the individual waiting may be totally devoid of any knowledge as to when it will arrive, exactly what it will look like, or even if it is what they envisioned. The convenience of the internet has opened a floodgate of resources from all around the globe. It single-handedly has enabled shoppers to pay the required price without leaving the comforts of home and then simply wait as they expect delivery from an unseen, yet trusted source. If they are impatient, or feel a dire need to receive items sooner, they enjoy the added convenience of expediting their shipment by paying premium delivery charges.
As I sit and ponder this confidence we have come so readily to place in man, I reflect on the position of the believer. Scripture teaches us that if we pay the price of self-denial, forsaking all worldliness that separates us from God and believe Jesus to be the redemptive sacrificial Lamb of God, we become the children of God and inherit all that the Father has reserved for us in this life and the life to come. Yet, we cannot see God; nor can we see what He has for us. Therefore, we may be prone to question if what He requires is too greater price to pay for what we cannot easily wrap our minds around. Perhaps the uncertainty of what we will receive of the Lord becomes questionable as we assess what we want at His hand and doubt arises surrounding the credibility and reliability of our great God. Or, perhaps impatience overtakes us as we wait for a God who is not controlled by time to keep promise. It occurs to me that just as paying the price ensures a reward of the item, paying an additional premium speeds up and guarantees its delivery. What else can I give God? — you may question. The answer seems quite obvious to me. God not only requires self-denial, but complete calm and total confidence that He will give us according to His riches in glory just as promised. Solomon was aware of this truth as he penned, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:7). In fact, Jesus assures us that we will receive the reward of our payments both in this life and throughout eternity with eternal life (St. Matthew 10:29, 30) — just “expect” it!
Words to Live By from our Presiding Prelate…
“And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” — Luke 24:49
I have often pondered the preceding scripture as it has undoubtedly impacted God’s church throughout the ages until this present day. Obviously, the eventual outpouring of Holy Ghost remains the centerpiece of our attention in this verse; but for our focus of expecting from God this year some other points of interest need to be highlighted for the church to be recipients of their expectation.
Jesus gave a simple command — tarry in the city of Jerusalem. These faithful saints had to be committed to the teachings of Christ to return to Jerusalem without question. They no doubt had families, pressing schedules, obligations, and anything else that would distract their attention from what was asked of them; regardless, they dropped everything and obeyed! More important they did not know the duration of their wait in Jerusalem; not a clue did they have as to what would happen, how it would happen, or when the endowment of power would come. Notwithstanding, they remained in upper room even as they were instructed. Obedience — this spiritual characteristic will surface again and again during our holy walk with Christ and must be exercised to have the favor of God to receive anything from Him.
The faith of God’s people did not wane because they were too busy praising God! Observe the eyewitness report of their actions: “And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God” (St. Luke 24:52-53). There was no idle time for the enemy to pervade their minds and spirits with questions of doubt and feelings of anxiety.
It has been well documented “they were all with one accord in one place” which speaks volumes about their united effort. Apparently, Psalm 133 was indelibly stamped in their spirits with an understanding that unity is the intangible anointing oil of the Lord resulting in the church being baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire!
The upper room saints were indeed spiritually prepared as they expectantly waited for the promise of the Father. The church of today would do well to follow the example of those who were commanded by our Savior — “obedience is better than sacrifice,” “rejoice in the Lord alway,“ and “behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity”! When these godly principles are at work to the glory and honor of God, a blessing will be “commanded” for the children of God.
Signs of the Times…
As I reminisce of the wonderful time that we had traveling to Florida, the sweet fellowship with our precious brothers and sisters, and the powerful word that God spoke through Vice Bishop Nance, encouraging the saints to believe that our latter days will be better than our former days because God is transforming us daily, I also remember just how close I came to missing my blessing.
When it was first announced that the next Day of Assembly would be held in Orange Park, FL, we were excited and eagerly began to make plans to attend. But as April approached, a number of unfavorable circumstances began to arise, wherein it looked like our trip would have to be canceled. But we thank God for His word that teaches us that we walk by faith and not by sight. Meaning that we should not base our lives on what we see, but on what our Almighty God is able to do — He asked Abram in the book of Genesis “Is there anything to hard for the Lord?” I believe that He is still asking us the same question in these days when things look impossible, God is just waiting to show us streams in the desert.
Yes, although I was holding to my testimony of expecting God to “work it out”, the adversary was doing his best to plant seeds of doubt in my mind, but at the appointed time, God spoke one word to my spirit when it looked dim — TRUST. Oh how I rejoiced to know that God IS concerned about every aspect of our lives.
After receiving this word, my expectation level was elevated as I watched God work the impossible. Looking back, I can’t help but wonder, how many blessings and opportunities have I missed due to what I thought were unfavorable circumstances. How many have you missed? I’m grateful for each time that I am reminded that there is nothing too hard for the Lord.
We can’t change the past, but we can help shape our future. As we we’re taught the concept of transformation, let us change the way we think as children of the Most High God. Let us determine in our hearts to not allow circumstances and situations to dictate our path, but let us choose to take God at His word.
“Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy — the bankruptcy of a soul expends too much in hope and expectation.” — Eric Hoffer
“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” — Proverbs 13:12 (KJV)
“I always remember that I have everything I need to enjoy my here and now, unless I am letting my consciousness be dominated by the demands and expectations based on the dead past or the imagined future.” — Ken Keyes, Jr.
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things tht pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” — 2 Peter 1:3 (KJV)
“The quality of expectations determines the quality of our actions.” — Andre Godin
“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” — 1 John 3:3 (KJV)
Stay Focused and Don’t Lose Faith
Usually when life’s problems arise, our first thought is to come up with a plan to solve them. We may feel we can handle most problems because we are somewhat familiar with what we think the solution and outcome should be.
Our focus should not be so much on how we can solve the problems, but should be entirely set on getting direction of God. Although we may have an excellent idea as to how the problem should be solved, because it is familiar, what if there is something just a little different involved this time? We can only see a portion of the portrait (situation); wherein, God can see the entire scene.
Peter faced a situation he had never experienced before when his faith was challenged to walk on water at Jesus’ bidding. As long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, he was able to walk on what is otherwise impossible. It was not until he turned his attention to the reality of his surrounding conditions that his awareness of peril began to change his outlook and he began to sink (Matthew 14:22-30).
Peter did not sink all at once, but had an opportunity to cry out to Jesus for help. Peter was saved by his fervent prayer to Christ.
Sometimes the length of our trials enable us to discover the weakness of our faith. Yet, there is peace in the “midst of the storm” when our attention is fixed on God and our faith in His ability is strong.
Peter was saved by the right hand and Holy arm of Christ (Hebrews 5:7).
Never think you are safe from trials and tribulation, for they are a part of the plan of salvation. But in God, you will not lose what He has promised (Acts 27:24).
The enemy’s angle is to take you where you don’t want to go, or need to be, to simply get you off course. If he can get you off course, and keep you there, he has a greater chance to destroy you.
Stay in tune with the Holy Ghost and follow His leading. When you keep your mind and your eyes on Jesus, you will not lose focus. Whether the problem is tragic or simple, don’t take your eyes off Jesus — keep Him first in everything. Always pray before making a move in any matter. The minute you take our eyes off of Jesus and lose sight of Him, you run amuck and start to sink beneath your troubles.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” — Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)